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The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaidoby Sebastian Izzard
Synopses & Reviews
Reproduced from the finest surviving edition of the original manuscript, this book offers an unforgettable portrait of daily life in 19th century Japan. Each plate teems with unique characters, from beggars and brawling men to boaters and finely clothed women; and the artists' gentle humor imbues them all with remarkable, human vitality. Behind the travelers loom castles, cities, powerful waterfalls and other sites familiar to lovers of Japanese history. Readers will travel from station to station through changing seasons, rural roads and city streets, on a journey that explores every stratum of a diverse society.
Commentary by art scholar and curator Sebastian Izzard, Ph.D. accompanies each image, offering new insights into the artists' processes, and into the survival of their work. Many of the wood blocks used in printing the original Sixty Nine Stations changed radically after the early editions, and Izzard addresses the protean nature of each image. His commentary details the manuscript's survival during the dramatic social shifts and economic hardship of Hiroshige and Eisen's time, urging an appreciation for its evolution over the years. The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido tells the story of a landmark, immortal artists, and an enduring masterpiece. 71 color images.
"This is a fine example of the deluxe albums produced for the Japanese armchair traveler of the 19th century, displaying the delights of a journey along the famous scenic route connecting Edo and Kyoto. As Japanese art scholar Izzard explains, the publishers of this album enlisted the services of Keisai Eisen (1790 — 1848), a known carouser who supported his family by writing salacious literature before turning to art. Beginning in 1835, Eisen completed 24 prints before Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 — 1858), one of the great masters of lyrical landscapes, took over. The differing approaches of the two artists keep the album lively. Although each did both landscapes and more anecdotal scenes, only Eisen could have produced the brawl among beggars or the nightly parade of courtesans through a bustling post station. Hiroshige is best when depicting well-known beauty spots along the route, the specifics of seasons, rain storms and times of day ranging from sunrise to moonlit nights. This volume reproduces a recently discovered early edition of the album, containing details and colors that were dropped from later editions. Commentaries provide historical information for today's armchair traveler along with technical information for the specialist and collector. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
This text contains a full-color reproduction of the finest surviving edition of the manuscript produced by master Japanese artists Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) and Keisai Eisen (1790-1848). Containing 70 woodblock prints, the text makes Hiroshige and Eisen's portrait of daily life in 19th-century Japan available to Western viewers for the first time, as they travel from station to station through changing seasons, rural roads and country streets, on a journey that explores every stratum of a diverse society. An introduction to the material is provided by Sebastian Izzard, who has over 20 years of experience as an auction house specialist, appraiser and dealer in Japanese and Korean Art. He also supplies the commentary accompanying each plate, describing the station portrayed and discussing the plate's publication history and its survival down through the centuries. No subject index. Oversize: 14x10.5". Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This book makes available an extremely rare collection of art prints by renowned Japanese artists Ando Hiroshige and Keisei Eisen.
Reproduced from the finest original manuscript, The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kisokaido teems with unique characters, castles, cities, waterfalls, and other remarkable sights elegantly recorded by master artists Ando Hiroshige and Keisei Eisen. The book carries readers through changing seasons, rural roads, and city streets on a journey that explores daily life during a fascinating era.
Commentary by art scholar and curator Sebastian Izzard accompanies the collection, offering new insights into the artists' processes and into the survival of their work. The wood blocks used to print Sixty-Nine Stations have changed radically since the early editions, and Izzard addresses the protean nature of each image. His commentary details the manuscript's survival during the dramatic social shifts of its time, urging an appreciation for the artwork's evolution over the years. Sixty-Nine Stations is more than a reproduction—it tells the story of a landmark road, two artists, and an enduring masterpiece. 74 color illustrations.
About the Author
Sebastian Izzard received his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. After over twenty years' experience as an auction house specialist, appraiser and dealer in Japanese and Korean Art, he has served as head of the Japanese and Korean art division at Christie's New York, curated shows for the Ukiyo-e Society of America and the Japan Society, and received the Uchiyama Memorial Prize for advances in Japanese print studies. He currently lives in New York.
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